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DC School Reform Now is educating, organizing and advocating to build support for public education strategies that prepare kids to become college and career ready.

Meet Rosita McCollum, DCSRN Parent

The quality rating of the school Maki would have attended without DCSRN’s intervention.


 


The quality rating of the school Maki will now attend because of DCSRN’s intervention.



Rosita McCollum is a clerk at a local bookstore and single mom who lives in Ward 8 with her son Maki, a rising sixth grader. Maki is passionate about attending a middle school with a rigorous, structured academic environment that would nurture his interests in math and science. Maki is determined to be a college graduate and Rosita is resolute in taking every measurable step to help him reach his goals. Rosita works 12 hour days with a short window of personal time each morning. She was extremely grateful her parent advocate could accommodate her schedule to help her pursue quality middle schools for Maki.

"I would not have known how to apply and enroll Maki into his top choice school without DCSRN." 
– Rosita McCollum

After the application deadline and before the lottery results announcement, Rosita’s phone was stolen on her way to work, and for several weeks she was unable to reach or be reached by her parent advocate. Rosita had no access to Internet at home and was unable to view Maki’s lottery results. When she did retain another phone, she had lost all of her contacts including that of her parent advocate. As the enrollment deadline approached, Maki was distraught because he feared losing a potential lottery match. He had especially set his hopes on attending Howard University Middle School of Math and Science (Howard UMS), located on the campus of Howard University, where he also hopes to attend college. Knowing that Maki had received a match to his top choice, Rosita’s parent advocate never stopped trying to get back in touch with her. Three days before the enrollment deadline, Rosita's parent advocate was able to reach her, informing her of Maki’s match to Howard UMS. Both Rosita and Maki were ecstatic about the match and Rosita was determined to complete enrollment for him.

Rosita informed her parent advocate that she lacked transportation to the school to submit Maki's enrollment paperwork. Her parent advocate arranged a free ride to-and-from the school via a partnership with Lyft. Having recently been awarded custody of Maki, Rosita asked her parent advocate to also help her determine the appropriate paperwork to prove his DC residency. Her parent advocate researched the necessary information and Rosita took a sick day from work to drop off his enrollment forms. Knowing there was not much room for error since the deadline was quickly approaching, her parent advocate reached out to Maki’s current school as well as administrators at the new school to confirm that Rosita’s trip would be successful. After completing enrollment, Maki personally called his parent advocate to thank DCSRN for helping him access a seat in his top choice school. 

"Thank you for helping my mom with the application and for helping me get into this school. I am really happy.” 

– Maki McCollum

Like any parent, Rosita simply wants the best for her child. She is relieved to know that Maki is now positioned to receive a quality education in a safe environment that reflects the life he envisions for himself. Maki's dream of becoming a pediatrician is now more possible.

Help us help more families like Rosita and Maki. Become a DCSRN supporter today!

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